Office for National Statistics – Greening Government Commitments

The Dŵr Cymru Environmental Leadership Award, Shortlisted 2016

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has fully embraced the Government’s Greening Government Commitments, and so is striving to reduce its environmental impact with a number of ambitious targets.

Good for business

  • All Greening Government targets have been exceeded.
  • Contract managers and other staff have benefited from an eLearning course on sustainable procurement.

Good for the environment

  • The programme has seen a 42% reduction of greenhouse gasses produced by the government over the last five years.
  • The amount of waste generated by the government has fallen by a third (33%) since the project began.

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The Greening Government Commitments is a framework of ambitious five-year targets for reducing the UK Government’s environmental impacts by 2014-15. 

The targets included a reduction in greenhouse gas emission, a reduction of waste, reduced water consumption and a sustainable supply chain.

Whilst these targets have been set across government, the Office of National Statistics, headquartered in Newport, has embraced them enthusiastically. It seeks to be a top UK performer, gaining the environmental advantages of lower consumption and lower emissions. ONS exceeded all of its targets.

ONS reduced its own carbon footprint by:

  • Reducing energy consumption and relying more on renewable sources;

  • Reducing water waste and increasing recycling;

  • Reducing the amount of travel undertaken through better video and audio facilities.

There were also financial benefits of lower fuel cost and less wastage, at a time when the office was under pressure to make efficiencies in all resources, including staffing.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and is the recognised national statistical institute for the UK. It is responsible for collecting and publishing statistics related to the economy, population and society at national, regional and local levels.

What the ONS' Head of Property Services said:

“The commitments for greening government operations and procurement, set out a range of new measures including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing waste, reducing water use. ONS has put together and followed an action plan which highlights the work we’ve undertaken to comply with the policy and provide a means for tracking actions to conclusion.

“Consistently reducing the amount of energy, water and waste generated can make a huge difference, both to the environment and to our financial spending. ONS is one of the few departments having overachieved in all target areas.” - Simon Ablitt, Head of Property Services, ONS

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